Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Like Mold or Mildew?

The biggest cause of mold is humidity and moisture, two things Florida natives are no stranger to. When summertime comes around you can bet that it is going to be hotter than normal, and more humid than usual, this is a recipe for mold.

If it has been very humid for multiple days in a row, you may notice little patches of mold starting to grow in your house. It is much more common to see mold growing on walls along with other surfaces when it rains for several days in a row.

Though finding mold in your home isn’t the end of the world, you definitely do not want to find it in your AC unit, breathing in moldy air is especially dangerous and can lead to sickness. If the AC smells bad, it may be time to check it for mold.

3 Signs Mold is Growing in Your AC Unit

1. There is a strange odor present when you turn the AC on

If you notice a strong unpleasant scent when you turn your AC on, there is a very good chance that this is caused by mold that has grown in your unit. While it isn’t all that uncommon for a strange scent to emit from the air vents after your system hasn’t been used in a while, if the smell persists, mold may be present. It is recommended to contact a professional at this point.

2. You can see moisture inside the air ducts or on the air vents

Mold thrives in dark and damp areas, making your air conditioning ducts the perfect incubators for mold and other not-so-pleasant fungi. The excess condensation is an early sign that there may be mold beginning to build up, it would be smart to have a professional come out sooner rather than later.

3. Your air ducts are punctured or have leaks

If the air ducts have been punctured and now have holes that may lead to leakage, your unit is significantly more susceptible to mold. This allows more humid hot air to be pulled into the unit through the tubes which then creates the humid environment that mold needs to live in. This air is then recycled and spit throughout your home. This will be the most difficult sign to notice, but if you do it is important to handle it immediately.

How to Prevent Mold in AC Unit

If you can take precautions to prevent mold from growing in your unit in the first place, you will not have to worry about diagnosing the mold growth and getting rid of it.

5 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth

Here are five easy ways to prevent mold growth:

  1. Keep AC on at all times, even if on a low setting.
  2. Keep air circulating in attics and other rooms that are constantly exposed to moisture.
  3. Use a UV filter to monitor mold growth.
  4. Vacuum regularly to prevent mold growth.
  5. Fix water leaks around your whole house.

Contact Complete Air Mechanical for AC Service

If your AC smells bad and you think something is off, we can help. At Complete Air Mechanical, we have experienced HVAC professionals who can inspect your AC and install a unit that’s right for your home or business. We provide service in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties, and we offer financing options.

Call us at (407) 915-0144 and let us make your home comfortable again.